Celebrating 400 years of rich history, Dulwich College Seoul hosted its Founder’s Day 2019 on Saturday, May 25th under the themes of “400 Years” and “Zero Waste.” To highlight the significance of the event, 10 Magazine caught up with the school’s Headmaster, Graeme Salt, to discuss what this means for the students, parents, faculty and the local community.
I understand the themes of this year’s Founder’s Day are “400 years” and “zero waste.” Why two themes and what is the significance of each?
Our parent school, Dulwich College was founded in London in 1619 so we have been celebrating 400 years of heritage with them throughout the year. A party of students and staff visited London earlier in the year to share experiences with hundreds of other young people with Dulwich associations in London at Dulwich College but also from our international schools in China, Singapore, and Myanmar. A sustainability theme for our Founder’s Day is appropriate as while we look back proudly upon our heritage and the sound foundations that provides for us, we are more interested in looking forward and playing our part in protecting and shaping the future. It is good news that the world appears to be waking up to the consequences of the thoughtless overuse of resources and the careless manner by which we dispose of the waste we create. In our school, we have many approaches to improving our community’s attitude and actions in addressing what is one of the most critical moral issues of the day. Highlighting these prominently at our biggest community day of the year is our way of sending the strongest message.
I see that the Seorae Global Village Center is sponsoring a visit by Bea Johnson, who is known for her Zero Waste Home movement, to Korea. What does it mean for her to speak on your campus?
We are delighted to be providing the venue for a presentation by Seocho District’s Seorae Global Village Center special guest Bea Johnson. If we are to find solutions to the reckless manner in which we are depleting the planet (our home), we need creative thinkers who are capable of developing and sharing radical ideas. Ms. Johnson has a remarkable approach to consumption. She has shown how by adapting consumer habits and planning more carefully what, when and how we buy, we can dramatically cut the waste we produce. If we all followed her approach, it would make a huge difference.
What do your students, parents, and faculty get out of Founder’s Day? What are some of the highlights?
Founder’s Day is the biggest community event of the year. It is a cross between a picnic, outdoor concert and festival of fun for children and adults. We welcome all families to join us for entertainment, food, and drinks in celebration of the great year we have had at school. There are fun games (e.g. soak the teacher, and headteacher(!), a splash zone, photo booth, stalls), fantastic music from our students and professional musicians, a Dulwich Has Got Talent competition and great food from all around the world. Running alongside are the sustainability learning areas and a zero-waste attitude, including no single-use plastic, lots of washing up and careful choices of materials.